Testing for Kidney Disease

MAHONING TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- About 30 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, but roughly 90 percent don't know they have it. Early detection is key, and this condition can be diagnosed with a simple urine test.

That's why Geisinger unveiled an at-home kidney disease test.

People suffering from chronic kidney disease sometimes end up needing a kidney transplant. According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in three Americans is at risk for chronic kidney disease.

This is why doctors at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville want to be proactive about caring for kidney disease. Geisinger unveiled a new study which tests for chronic kidney disease.

"We're going to screen these patients who were not previously screened, by mailing them this kit and seeing if they can get the appropriate instructions to complete the testing," Dr. Alexander Chang said.

Patents who receive the kit will use their smartphones to send the send the results back to the doctor.

"The results come back to us through a HIPPA-compliant server through the cloud," Dr. Chang said.

The study will involve 500 Geisinger patients who have high blood pressure, and who have not been tested for chronic kidney disease.

Geisinger is calling patients to tell them about the study this week and plans to send out the kits shortly after.

Geisinger doctors tell Newswatch 16 they believe the study will allow them to help more patients.

"If you don't have early diagnosis, oftentimes kidney doctors are seeing patients in the later stages of kidney disease, right before they need dialysis and such, so early diagnosis is really the key," Dr. Chang said.